‘Master Gardener’ trailer: Paul Schrader directs Joel Edgerton

The third film of Schrader’s trilogy, after “The First Reformed” and “The Card Counter”, will debut on May 19.

Only Paul Schrader’s movies are better than Paul Schrader’s Facebook posts, and his latest movie is only two months away. Magnolia Pictures on Tuesday released the first trailer for “Master Gardener,” the 24th adaptation of “First Reformed” and “American Gigolo.”

Written and directed by Schrader, the crime thriller “Master Gardener” stars Joel Edgerton as Narvel Roth, a brilliant gardener working at the Gracewoods Gardens estate. Dedicated to his work, Roth is forced by his employer, his wealthy wife, Mrs. Haverhill (Sigourney Weaver), to take his troubled great-niece, Maya (Quintessa Swindell), as his apprentice. Initially aloof, Roth slowly warms to his young charge, and the two generations form a close friendship. But Roth has many secrets and an extremely unpleasant past that he is hiding from Maya, and when the truth is revealed, it threatens the peaceful existence he has worked to maintain.

The film is the final installment in a trilogy of Schrader films that began with 2017’s “The First Reformed” starring Ethan Hawke and 2021’s “The Card Counter” starring Oscar Isaac. All three films focus on men who live alone and struggle to do the right thing in a corrupt world while dealing with their own dark pasts and regrets. “The First Reformed” and “The Card Counter” both received critical acclaim, and Schrader received an Oscar nomination for his screenplay for “The First Reformed.”

“Master Gardener” first premiered at the Venice International Film Festival in September and was also screened at the New York Film Festival. The film spent two months without a distributor after its premiere, until it was finally bought by Magnolia last November.

The film received positive reviews from Venice; IndieWire’s review wrote that “while the central character’s arc is likely to trigger the dreaded ‘speech,’ there’s a tenderness to ‘Master Gardener’ that may be the biggest surprise.”

“Master Gardener” is produced by Schrader’s manager David Gonzales, Amanda Crittenden and Scott LaStaiti. The film is executive produced by Ottocento’s Luisa Law, Flickstar’s Jamieson McClurg, and KOJO Studios’ Dale Roberts and Linda Ujuk.

“Master Gardner” opens in theaters on May 19. Watch the full trailer below.


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